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Montevideo, May 20th 2022 - 11:04 UTC



Half a million Latinamericans in Spain.

Tuesday, January 13th 2004 - 20:00 UTC
Full article

More than half a million Latin Americans are legal residents of Spain, the largest group of documented immigrants in the country.

According to a report from the Office released this Monday of the 1,647,011 foreigners legally residing in the country in December 2003, 514,485 were from Latin America, a 24,4% increase over December 2002. Africans follow with 432,662 and the European Union with 406,199.

Non-EU Europeans totalled 154,001; Asians, 121,455 and North Americans, 16,163, while immigrants born in Oceania - islands of the southern, western, and central Pacific Ocean, 1,018.

Morocco figures with the most legal immigrants, almost 334,000, followed by Ecuador, with 174, 289 (51,16% over December 2002), Colombia, 107,459 (50,85% increase) and Peru with 57,593 (47,63%). Total documented Argentines, 43,347, experienced a 55,16 % jump from 2002.

Dominicans number 36,654 (13,09% more than in December 2002); Cubans, 27,323 (12,78%); Brazilians, 14,598 (13,15%); Venezuelans, 13,162 (23,77%) and Chileans, 10,869 (31,63%).

Head of the Immigration Office Gonzalo Robles added that last year 30,000 people were granted legal resident status by claiming family ties to Spanish citizens. During 2003 more than 92,600 undocumented foreigners were returned to their country of origin, a 20,18% increase over 2002, most of them Romanians, Moroccans, Bulgarians and Ecuadorians. In 2003 Spanish authorities also busted 677 immigrant-smuggling rings arresting more than 2,000 suspects.

The new Spanish immigration legislation requires transport companies to report passengers who fail to make use of their return tickets from Spain. It also establishes a new visa system contemplating the children or grandchildren of Spaniards, or those seeking employment in high-demand occupations to spend up to three months in Spain looking for work, and to remain only if they obtain a work contract.

Spanish authorities declined to comment on the estimated number of illegal immigrants in the country. Spain has become a magnet particularly for Latinamericans given the language and culture affinities.

Many Latinamericans claim Spain is not acting with the same generosity towards them recalling that for decades Spaniards, even in the late nineteen fifties and sixties, flocked to Latinamerican countries with virtually no legal impediments.

Categories: Mercosur.

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